Charities connected with non-charitable organisations: ACF responds to consultation

ACF has responded to the Charity Commission for England and Wales' consultation on draft guidance for charities with connections to non-charitable organisations. Members can read our full response here.

ACF welcomes the intent of the Commission to provide further support to charities on an issue that affects many within the sector, adding to a number of complementary resources which will serve as a useful tool to aid discussions among trustees.

However, we have concerns about how the guidance has been developed, which fall into four areas:

  • The scope is wide and ambitious, resulting in elements that are not applicable or easily interpreted by all affected.
  • It draws together other pieces of guidance, but in doing so loses their original meaning and brings confusion.
  • Its emphasis is heavily on the risks involved, without counterbalancing them with the many benefits that come from such a connection.
  • It creates a burden of documentation for charities that appears to be higher than what is already expected, leaving otherwise well governed and compliant charities with less resource to spend on achieving the charities’ objectives.

We are also concerned that corporate foundations have not been sufficiently considered or consulted in drafting this guidance. Corporate foundations are one of the primary audiences of the guidance, yet it does not adequately reflect the realities and issues that many face. 

We are confident that by engaging extensively with foundations and other charities, the guidance could become a useful steer for those with connections to non-charitable organisations. We would be pleased to enable a dialogue between our members and the Commission and facilitate information sharing that might make this guidance as useful as it is intended to be.

We support UK foundations and grant-making charities